Outrageously Fresh

Posted by SunSelect

February 10, 2016

Outrageously Fresh Jar Bags

Outrageously Fresh Jar Bags

With greenhouses in California and British Columbia nearing peak production — and significant expansion on the horizon — SunSelect Produce has strengthened its team with the expertise of industry veteran Mike Reed.

Reed brings 18 years of experience spanning virtually all aspects of the greenhouse category into the newly created role of chief business development officer and executive vice president of sales and marketing for SunSelect.

MReed_updateMost recently, Reed spent half a decade as president of BC Hothouse Foods Inc. in Langley, BC. Previously, he was vice president of marketing and business development for BCHH’s parent company Star Produce Ltd., and he has also served as greenhouse category director and executive director of marketing at The Oppenheimer Group, Coquitlam. Reed held several sales management roles at BC Hot House from 1997-2004.

“Mike is a bit of a legend in the greenhouse sector. He’s one of the true professionals, having lived and breathed greenhouse for so many years,” Len Krahn, SunSelect co-owner and general manager, said in a press release. “Mike has an excellent track record of successfully building marketshare and esteem for a wide range of products and brands. His comprehensive knowledge about the growing and marketing facets of the business will no doubt make him masterful at optimizing opportunities as we continue to expand our production.”

Reed’s achievements include successful new product introductions, development of innovative packaging styles, extensive brand building, and noteworthy increases in sales and profitability for the various entities he has represented in club, retail and food service sectors throughout North America.

“I have known the SunSelect team for over 15 years and have witnessed their successful growth from their high-tech facilities in BC and California. Their focus on providing consistent year-round quality, a commitment to Fair Trade standards for their workers and a solid strategic plan for growth made this opportunity to join a natural fit for me,” Reed said in the release. “With several expansion plans under way, I am excited about the countless opportunities for developing a stronger brand and trade following for the diversified mix of products and packages that will be available from SunSelect over the next couple of seasons.”

Reed will focus on new product development and sales and marketing strategies in tandem with SunSelect’s marketing partner, The Oppenheimer Group.

“Together, we will develop and execute plans that position SunSelect for on-going market growth as we continue to expand our greenhouse offerings,” Aaron Quon, Oppy’s executive category director greenhouse, said in the release. “We are excited to have a seasoned professional like Mike join the Oppenheimer and SunSelect family.”

TEHACHAPI, CA – Canadian greenhouse grower SunSelect is shipping its first ever California-grown tomatoes out of its new 32-acre greenhouse.

The new state-of-the-art facility will produce sweet bell peppers year-round and cocktail and traditional tomatoes-on-the-vine. According to a press release, this facility makes SunSelect the only large-scale greenhouse grower in California to produce peppers in the winter.

“We chose Tehachapi for a few reasons, including the high light levels to promote uniform plant growth, the plentiful water and low humidity,” said SunSelect Co-Owner Victor Krahn. “And because the temperature in this valley is lower than surrounding areas, it is naturally free of many pests.”

With the first product ready to ship from the new greenhouse, construction on a second Tehachapi facility is already underway.

“We have started building an additional 32 acres, which will double our current size and significantly increase our year-round pepper volume,” said Len Krahn, SunSelect Co-Owner. Peppers grown in this second phase will be available in late 2015.

The company’s tomatoes-on-the-vine will be available by the end of October, and peppers will be ready about a week later. They will be shipped throughout the U.S., but the sustainability strategy focuses on the local California market.

“We are launching a new series of packaging that emphasizes the California origin of our new items,” Victor said, noting that the iconic California bear is featured on the packs. “We anticipate that a considerable amount of our early product will be sold here, and we are eager to build a local following.”

This new greenhouse has expanded SunSelect’s partnership with The Oppenheimer Group, which invested in the facility. Aaron Quon, Greenhouse and Vegetable Category Director for The Oppenheimer Group, SunSelect’s marketing partner, spoke on the impact the new facility could have.

“This is an important step in the evolution of the North American greenhouse category,” he said. “With SunSelect, we will be the first to offer U.S.-grown greenhouse sweet bell peppers year round. And with the addition of TOVs and cocktail tomatoes―combined with SunSelect’s BC production of peppers and cucumbers―we can deliver a full basket of high-demand items to our customers from SunSelect any day of the year.”

Congratulations on this new facility, SunSelect.

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by Andrew McDaniel
andnowuknow.com

TEHACHAPI, Calif. – Leading Canadian greenhouse grower SunSelect will ship its first ever California-grown tomatoes next week. This historic shipment marks the beginning of a new era for the British Columbia-based grower, as the doors to its brand new 32-acre greenhouse officially open to fresh opportunities.

Along with cocktail and traditional tomatoes-on-the-vine, SunSelect’s high tech, state-of-the-art facility, located in Tehachapi, Calif., will produce sweet bell peppers year-round. Notably, this makes SunSelect the only large scale greenhouse grower in the Golden State to produce peppers in the winter, enabling attractive programs for retailers seeking California sweet bells during the colder months of the year and beyond.

SunSelect’s expansion into California has also deepened its long term partnership with The Oppenheimer Group, an investor in the new facility. And even as SunSelect prepares to ship its first product from the new greenhouse, construction of a second facility is already underway in Tehachapi.

“We have started building an additional 32 acres, which will double our current size and significantly increase our year-round pepper volume,” said Len Krahn, SunSelect co-owner. Peppers grown in this second phase will be available in late 2015.

“We chose Tehachapi for a few reasons, including the high light levels to promote uniform plant growth, the plentiful water and low humidity,” said Len’s brother and SunSelect co-owner Victor Krahn. “And because the temperature in this valley is lower than surrounding areas, it is naturally free of many pests.”

Inside the fully sealed greenhouse, SunSelect has employed the latest technology to assure an optimal growing environment where sustainable practices are undertaken. From water recycling to re-introduction of waste CO2 as fertilizer to natural air heating, cooling and re-circulation systems, SunSelect extends the commitment to sustainable growing it pioneered in British Columbia to its new California greenhouse.

“We are serious about growing the best tomatoes and peppers in the most sustainable manner we can,” Victor Krahn said.

SunSelect tomatoes-on-the vine will be available at the end of October, and peppers will follow about a week later. While product will ship throughout the U.S., part of the sustainability strategy includes a focus on the local California market.

“We are launching a new series of packaging that emphasizes the California origin of our new items,” he said, noting that the iconic California bear is featured on the packs. “We anticipate that a considerable amount of our early product will be sold here, and we are eager to build a local following.”

Aaron Quon, greenhouse and vegetable category director for The Oppenheimer Group―SunSelect’s marketing partner―points to the significant impact the new facility could have.

“This is an important step in the evolution of the North American greenhouse category,” he said. “With SunSelect, we will be the first to offer U.S.-grown greenhouse sweet bell peppers year round. And with the addition of TOVs and cocktail tomatoes―combined with SunSelect’s BC production of peppers and cucumbers―we can deliver a full basket of high-demand items to our customers from SunSelect any day of the year.”

For a look at the new packaging and to learn more about SunSelect’s new Tehachapi greenhouse, please visit The Oppenheimer Group booth #3002 at PMA Fresh Summit.

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Karin Gardner
Marketing Communications Manager
The Oppenheimer Group
karga@oppy.com / 206-499-7440

SunSelect Values Global Development

Posted by SunSelect

August 25, 2014

One of our core values at SunSelect is stewardship. From the management of our resources to the work that is done day-in and day-out: we believe it is essential to remain sustainable. We believe it is imperative to take care of our environment. And above all, we believe it is a privilege to grow fresh, healthy produce for people’s needs.

But we don’t stop there.

The family at Sun Select recognizes that we have a duty to our workers. Some of them have families and communities in foreign countries that can benefit from development projects. That’s why with every Fair Trade sale our greenhouse workers earn Community Development Premiums. These funds go into a separate bank account designated for social, economic and environmental development.

There’s more.

What happens to the money in this account? Well, it is managed by our Fair Trade Committee: a democratic body made up entirely of our greenhouse workers. They know how these premiums can best serve the pressing needs of their communities. After presenting these needs, the committee votes on how to best use these resources to improve each community’s day-to-day life.

Why do we do this?

Because we know sustainability goes beyond a delicious environmentally grown produce; sustainability means partnering with the global community in stewardship.

Watch our video and see how SunSelect is committed to fair trade.

SunSelect earns Fair Trade certification

Posted by Steven

March 26, 2014

Every new season holds promise, but this year at SunSelect Produce, the harvest promises more than just a beautiful crop of high quality peppers. It promises to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who make the harvest itself possible.

When SunSelect, of Aldergrove, B.C., achieved Fair Trade certification in early 2014, it became the first farm in the global north to do so. Along with Fair Trade USA and The Oppenheimer Group, the leading greenhouse pepper grower has embarked on a new learning journey to discover how Fair Trade principles can benefit workers in the global north, in addition to those in the global south.

Approximately 120 SunSelect employees―including roughly 100 men and women from rural communities in Guatemala―will apply the premiums earned through the sale of Fair Trade Certified peppers to projects that address urgent needs in their communities.

“To be recognized in this manner is to honor commitments made to our customers, our staff and our global community,” said Len Krahn, executive manager of SunSelect. “Our top priorities in our lives and our business―to care for the well-being of others and our natural surroundings―haven’t changed, but have been reinforced by the certification process. We are honored to have been selected to join Fair Trade USA on this path, as we see that the Fair Trade principles are critical to the sound operations of all farming in all territories of the world.”

SunSelect was among the first farms in Western Canada to implement a program that enabled people from Guatemala to work in their greenhouses. A solid commitment to its diverse workforce of Canadian citizens and migrant workers, along with an active concern for environmental stewardship, made SunSelect a strong partner for this Fair Trade journey, according to Mary Jo Cook, chief impact officer at Fair Trade USA. Another important reason is the potential to increase the impact of Fair Trade for workers in multiple regions, as the SunSelect season is complementary to the pepper harvest in Mexico, where Fair Trade Certified bell peppers currently come from.

“For the last 15 years, Fair Trade USA has worked primarily with farmers and workers in the developing world,” said Cook. “Through this journey we’ve also come to realize that agricultural workers, whether in the global north or the global south, share common challenges. This is the impetus for our work with SunSelect, and is why we’re learning all we can as we explore the potential of a globally inclusive Fair Trade model.”

Fair Trade is about high-quality products that are grown with care for farmers, care for the environment, and care for the consumer. This approach has made Fair Trade Certified the gold standard for responsible farming practices, fair treatment of workers, environmental protection, and great tasting products. It’s also become an important indication of a company’s values and an effective way to build consumer loyalty.

SunSelect views Fair Trade certification as an opportunity to further demonstrate its commitment to sustainable values, which have been cultivated over many years. By prioritizing renewable resource use, implementing rigorous carbon management practices―including proprietary GC6 green carbon capture technology and climate friendly production standards―and pioneering green packaging, SunSelect has earned its reputation as a leader.

“We are taking this new and exciting step forward to see how Fair Trade can benefit our workers, and also to offer our customers the chance to differentiate in a meaningful way,” said Krahn.

John Anderson, chairman, president and CEO of The Oppenheimer Group, views this as a terrific opportunity to make a difference in many lives while providing discerning consumers with a high quality item that resonates with their values.

“SunSelect has proven their commitment to environmental and social responsibility over the years, but Fair Trade certification elevates their efforts to an even higher level,” he said. “We’re proud to market the first Fair Trade Certified peppers grown in North America, just as we were when we introduced the first Fair Trade peppers from Mexico—grown by our partner Divemex― to our customers a few years ago.”

Oppy now offers Fair Trade Certified sweet bell peppers year round.

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Interview requests please contact:

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Karin Gardner
Marketing Communications Manager
The Oppenheimer Group
karga@oppy.com / 206-499-7440